It's a crime that cannot be excused when the innocent are exploited by someone they trust completely. An Ohio kindergarten teacher is accused of secretly recording his students while they used the classroom's bathroom.
Elliot Gornall, 32, a former teacher at R.F. McMullen Elementary School in the Loudonville-Perrysville Exempted Village School District near Mansfield, resigned in December following felony drug possession charges. Now he is accused of secretly recording his students in the bathroom.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Elliot Gornall allegedly used a tiny spy camera hung from a plastic hook on the wall of his classroom's bathroom, according to prosecutors.
Ashland County Prosecutor says the new charges arose from an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation examination of Gornall's personal computer. Gornall had dozens of videos featuring 25 separate students on his computer that was confiscated during a drug raid of his home.
"While everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the evidence we've uncovered is both disturbing and shocking," Prosecuting Attorney Tunnell said to Cleveland News Net 5.
"Although these children were unaware they were being secretly filmed by a pinpoint spy camera, the thought that a previously trusted kindergarten teacher would take advantage of young children in this way is horrifying."
The camera along with the images were retrieved by law enforcement.
The Daily Mail reports that Gornall faces 25 felony charges including 23 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, as well as two counts of attempting the same crime.
Parents are understandably outraged. The Daily Mail obtained a statement from the father of one of the victims.
"First, it's anger. Then, you're upset. And then you just feel betrayed," said John Carroll, a member of the school board and also a parent of a child who was videotaped. "We feel so hurt that our child was violated in this way."
The teacher was very popular and had originally taught second and third grade before moving to the kindergarten class. There is no indication that he perpetrated the same crime on his former students.
The principal of the school was shocked. Gornall not only filmed the students in the bathroom but during after school activities. Annette Gorrell, principal at R.F. McMullen Elementary School said to the Daily Mail, "The betrayal is huge."
If convicted, he could face up to 184 years in prison.
Read more about similar crimes by clicking here.